When Apple releases a new generation of iPod, it's smaller, but Apple aims to keep profit margins in check too. A new patent points to Apple possibly developing a lower-cost touchscreen for the iPod classic. Instead of utilizing thick glass panels, the design takes advantage of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. We see this PET in the iPhone/iPod touch already, so the transition would probably be a positive one despite the use of, ick, more plastic. [Patent via MacNN]
I sure hope this patent doesn't manifest itself into an actual product. What's the point of a clickwheel if it has a touch screen? Choice is fine and all, but this sounds like a convoluted design with no point to it whatsoever. Also, IF they're going to do this, it had better have the power to run the interface better than the first run of Classics.